My vignettes depicted in previous pages are few, but there are many more tucked into my mind. I pulled out those that were most obviously itching to be told. All of my experiences, all of my “vignettes”, have influenced my growing up in character and identity. Every action I’ve made, every word I’ve spoken, and everything I’ve heard and seen have impacted me in a way, have shaped me into becoming who I am today.
Esperanza struggles with what her purpose is throughout the book, and expresses her distress by her thoughts of leaving her body, of going somewhere, anywhere, else. She also has felt alone in the world, that she is the only one who thinks about life in her way. She trusted too much, in my opinion, and that led her down paths she did not wish to go. While I do trust, it comes after complete certainty that I can trust that person, rather than blindly listening and believing their words.
As a young child, I struggled to find my purpose, as Esperanza had done from a child to an adolescent. I had happily fulfilled my roles as a daughter, a sister, and a friend, but I felt like I needed something more. In the human soul, I believe there is a space especially reserved for the spiritual connection of mankind and God. After learning about Jesus as a child and reading all of the wise and compassionate choices he made in his life, I put my faith and trust in him. Though I still make many mistakes, as every person does, I do my best to live the way Jesus lived; loving everyone with whom your paths cross. As an attentive reader, I noticed that Esperanza never clearly addressed the spiritual side of the questioning of her purpose, and rather than approaching the waters of religion, Sandra Cisneros made Esperanza turn towards a cultural defiance, in which Esperanza had things of her own, and plans to “come back” for those who didn’t and couldn’t have “things of their own”.
I have experienced a “coming of age”, which almost every person does, regardless of ethnicity or cultural background. One of the most vivid experiences would probably be when I first received a phone, a time at which I was ecstatic to finally have one that I could call mine. I consider this a “coming of age” because the majority of adolescents in the United States have phones, which they received at different times and with jealous glances, I’m sure.
While I did enjoy the reading of the book, I did not agree with some of the concepts held within the pages. I found it intriguing the way that Cisneros formatted the writing, without quotation marks and with meaningful run-on sentences. What I did not like, however, were the blatant suicidal thoughts present in the book, such as when Esperanza mentioned trying to kill herself in the Monkey Garden. Though I know suicide is a major issue in the world during this time, I don’t think that it is a good idea to present the topic to eighth graders in such a brazen way.